Journal of Muscle Research & Cell Motility

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 119–126

Not Just a Plasma Membrane Protein: in Cardiac Muscle Cells Alpha-II Spectrin also Shows a Close Association with Myofibrils

  • Pauline M. Bennett
  • Anthony J. Baines
  • Marie-Christine Lecomte
  • Alison M. Maggs
  • Jennifer C. Pinder


Spectrin and its associated proteins are essential for the integrity of muscle cells and there is increasing evidence for their involvement in signalling pathways as well as having a structural function in mediating stress. Spectrin is a multigene family and it is essential to determine which isoforms are present and their location in the cell. In heart muscle, we have found that one spectrin isoform, αII-spectrin, is strongly represented and, using immunofluorescence, we show that it lies within the contractile fibres near the Z-disc as well as on the cardiomyocyte plasma membrane. Electron microscopy of immunogold-labelled cryosections reveals statistically significant clustering of gold particles near the Z-disc, within and close to the edge of myofibrils. βII-spectrin and ankyrin-R and G are both known to occupy this region. We suggest that αIIβII spectrin tetramers with ankyrin organise and/or stabilise cardiac muscle cell membrane components relative to the contractile apparatus.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pauline M. Bennett
    • 1
  • Anthony J. Baines
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie-Christine Lecomte
    • 3
  • Alison M. Maggs
    • 1
  • Jennifer C. Pinder
    • 1
  1. 1.The Randall Centre for Molecular Mechanisms of Cell Function, New Hunt's HouseKing's College London, Guy's CampusLondonUK; Tel.:
  2. 2.Department of BiosciencesUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  3. 3.INSERM U409Faculté de Médecine Xavier BichatParis Cedex 18France

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